Court Battles

Former officer Jason Van Dyke, who killed Laquan McDonald, released from prison early

Former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke has been released from prison less than halfway through his initial sentencing, according to a report by NBC News.

Van Dyke, who in 2018 was convicted of second-degree murder for the killing of Black teenager Laquan McDonald, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison in 2019. However, he was released after only serving three years and four months, NBC reports.

A spokesperson for Illinois Gov. Jay Pritzker (D) told NBC that Van Dyke was released Thursday but did not provide further details about his release or prior imprisonment. 

In a statement, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) said “81 months was and remains a supreme disappointment.” 

“While I know this moment is disappointing, it should not prevent us from seeing the significant progress Van Dyke’s prosecution and conviction represent,” Lightfoot added, according to NBC. “He was the first officer in more than half a century to be convicted of a crime committed purportedly in the line of duty.”

“I understand why this continues to feel like a miscarriage of justice, especially when many Black and brown men get sentenced to so much more prison time for having committed far lesser crimes,” Lightfoot, who is Black, said. “It’s these distortions in the criminal justice system, historically, that have made it so hard to build trust.”

Tags Chicago Chicago Chicago Police Department Crime in Chicago Illinois Jason Van Dyke Lori Lightfoot Lori Lightfoot Merrick Garland Murder of Laquan McDonald

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